My friends and I have always been the group to pack into a car, turn our music up so loud we could barely even hear each other and spend hours driving around looking for adventure or trouble or simply something new. As teenagers it was a way to escape from the rules of our parents and feel just a taste of freedom.
This tradition has followed a few of us into adulthood. Anytime my girlfriends and I need a chance to truly be candid with each other instead of picking up the phone, we hop into the car and set out on the road. (Yes I do realize this isn’t the greatest thing for the environment, but if it makes anyone feel better…there are days I don’t even leave the house) When we are on our drives we can control our environment fully. Our husbands don’t need us, the kids are taken care of, instead of Bubble Guppies or Disney movies we have our favorite songs blaring through the speakers.
In fact, one of the “games” we like to play is “Let’s get lost”. We just set out in any direction, taking unknown roads, and seeing where the road leads us. It’s exciting to see where we are going to end up. We take pictures of things that jump out at us. Interesting barns, beautiful churches, or even funny advertisements. At the risk of sounding like a total loser (and embarrassing “F” who already thinks I’m weird) one of my oldest and dearest friends and I sometimes call our little road trips “Insta-cruises”, meaning we set out with the sole purpose of finding neat thing to post on our Instagrams.
I suppose it’s a bit silly. There are plenty of people in our lives that kind of roll their eyes at us. I mean…we are grown a** women but that’s ok. Neither of us really care what other people think of us. It’s our way of finding a little bit of adventure in our lives. It’s our way of looking for beauty that is all around us. Some of the best memories I have are going on a drive with the sun on my face, the wind in my hair, and no set destination in mind. We have laughed until we cried and I’ve cried until I laughed. (Yes that’s right…cried until I laughed at how ridiculous I was being) And I have seen so many amazing things.
Can you tell me the last thing that you saw that was unexpectedly beautiful? There are those of us that find comfort in modern architecture. Or find a certain romanticism in old gothic types. Or if you are from Minnesota (or have ever visited) going over the 35W bridge at night and looking over at the city of Minneapolis all lit up, with the lights reflecting off the river. It’s almost magical. You might not be the type of person that loves driving like I do, but I will say next time you are out and about, even just running errands…take a second to “stop and smell the roses”. Step back and look around you. What do you see? What little treat is nature trying to show you? Maybe it’s some recognizable shape in the clouds. Maybe it’s the beautiful color of changing leaves in the fall. Or the gentle sparkle of freshly fallen snow. Whatever it might be, take a minute to enjoy it.
“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.”
― Anne Frank,